Automate your marketing with some handy tools
Every now and then I see a friend of mine post pictures of beautiful holidays to Spain or Bali and all I can think is that isn't he supposed to be working? Everytime I think that, I have to remind myself of the fact that he actually is working. He mastered the automation of his business which now allows him to run his business from abroad or wherever he finds himself at the moment.

I decided to take control in my own hands and did some extensive research on how you can automate your marketing so that you don't have to. My quest was to find the business automation that would work best for me, and where it could be implemented to get maximum results.

Lately I've been seeing business automation so often that I think it's a huge buzzword nowadays. Everybody wants a piece of the action, but many don't really know what it means. Everyday new companies are found and new tools are being released, so it's not an easy task to find that specific one that works best for your business.

Now let's look into what they call marketing automation and let's find out what it can and can't do for your small business.
It can't get your business leads.
You might have figured out the best marketing automation strategy, but expecting it to deliver a continuous stream of new business leads is more a wish than a fact.

Marketing automation has the capacity to nurture your leads but to get business leads you have to build an awareness strategy on that, and improve it continuously. Only then you can refine it in combination with your marketing automation.
It can nurture leads into customers
If you're getting a nice and steady flow of inbound leads and you need to take them through a funnel to turn them from leads into customers, then it's time to start with marketing automation. Social Media marketing is one of the most famous ones, but email marketing in particular can be a very effective tool to not only nurture leads, but also to build relationships and move prospects through your entire sales process; including generating sales!
What kind of Marketing Automation tools are out there?
There are many, many different marketing softwares that can help you with automating your marketing tasks. To decide which one works best for you, it's best to brainstorm a bit first and write down what are you looking for in a software. Once you've done that you can start looking for the best fit.

This brainstorming process is as important as the buying process, it's very easy to "overbuy" software and pay too much for features you don't need.

With this being said, let's take a look at my five favourite marketing automations software companies and how they can lift your business to a new level.
This popular, easy to use software is primarily used for email marketing. Thanks to its multiple features such as analytics and custom mailbuilding it's a fast and simple tool to have in your toolbox arsenal.

One of the great things about MyMailMarket is the ability to send a mail at the right time, to the right person, fully automated.
This awesome tool by Shopitag is more specifically aimed at all retail and brick-and mortar owners. The Post A Shop app of Shopitag gives you the ability to automatically generate a small webshop via a Facebook-post.

As they have combined social media with e-commerce you can create posts and let your followers shop them in less than half the time. By using Facebook-posts you only generate leads, but you give them the opportunity to immediately let them become a paying customer.
Don't underestimate the power of Infusionsoft: it's a huge program that can almost do anything you want. If you're running a one-person operation or a very small business, than it might be a bit overkill for you.

Infusionsoft offers with interesting features, including online sales features with integrated order forms, advanced sales pipelines, and loads and loads of data storage.
Even though everybody wants to sell as much as possible, it is wrong to assume that everybody wants or needs your product. The product or service that you sell might speak to a broad audience, but it's the people that would really would consider buying it you want to market to. Identify yourself with this crowd and narrow down your target by making a client profile. Now that you have a client profile you can target your marketing directly at them.
#5. AWeber
AWeber is so hot nowadays, it's hard to not put it on my list. It prides itself on being user-friendly, and it is! Plus they offer an amazing customer support. This platform has email automation, tagging-ability and segmentating, and surveys all combined in one good-looking interface. It's great for both beginners and advanced users.

Where it all comes down to is that marketing automation can save you a ton of time in your business, that you get to spend on something else. It takes some time to set everything up, optimize it and perfect it. And it takes constant stream of good leads to make it work, which is a job you still have to do.
But if you're willing to invest your time, marketing automation is one of the best things you can do for your business.
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